Horse Artillery Unit, 1884
Courtesy of Syd and Sharon Martin
Alternate title: The Color Guard
Oil on canvas, 20 x 30 inches
Signed and dated ll: “Wm. T. Trego 1884”
Collection of Syd and Sharon Martin
The work was done as a study in preparation for Battery—Halt!
where this same group of figures
can be seen on the left-hand side of the painting. It is the largest and most
detailed of all surviving preparatory sketches by Trego.
One unusual aspect of this study is that the faces of the soldiers
seem somewhat incomplete, while the faces of some of the horses are quite
detailed. This same treatment was carried over into the final work.
The painting was at one point misidentified as The Color Guard.
Owned by Harry O. Eichleay of Pittsburgh,
who transferred it to his daughter, Helen E. Siegwarth, who sold it to the
Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh
in 1971. Mellon Financial Corporation sold it in 2006 to Robert Welch in
Bucks County, Pennsylvania, who then sold it to the
current owner in 2007.
Doylestown, Pennsylvania, James A. Michener Art Museum, June 3-Oct 2, 2011: "So Bravely and So Well: The Life and Art of William T. Trego."
Mellon Financial had the painting restored by Simon Parkes
Art Conservation Inc. of New York City in 2002. The
painting was cleaned, relined, retouched, and lightly varnished. Examination
under a black light in January 2005 revealed some patches of inpainting and
overpainting. The painting is in excellent condition. (Marcia Rosenthal, “A
Summary Appraisal Report of 4 Paintings in the Collection of Mellon Financial
Corporation to Estimate Market Value as of February 10, 2005” [Pittsburgh: Marcia R. Rosenthal Fine Art
Services, 8 March 2005])